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Good Habits for the Lazy and Complacent

Farmers are lazy. Not all of them, but certainly in my experience I have come across several of them who are.

Perhaps lazy is not the right word. Laziness and complacency are related semantically, and I think complacent is closer to what I mean. Complacent is that feeling of being pleased with oneself or one’s achievements or situation. Feeling this way is often justified and we do need to sometimes stand back and appreciate our own efforts and achievements. However, it becomes dangerous when it becomes the norm or a habit.

Surely habits are good? We all know about the seven habits of successful people and the value of instilling good habits in our children. This is true and there is no doubt that good habits do make a profound difference to what we achieve and do. Complacency is the dangerous brother in this sibling rivalry of words. When we are lazy it is clear to see and we all know and expect no good to come from it. A habit can enforce good behaviour and help us to achieve success if we get into the habit of doing the right things. Sometimes this can have the opposite effect when our habits become detrimental. Complacency is the one we can sometimes allow, reflecting on a success and savouring the moment. A moment too long and the danger sets in.

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The risk of growing complacent. This can relate to growing complacent about all aspects of your business, its growth, diversification, how the business is protected, what you produce and how you produce it. It can also apply to complacency farmers might have around learning and acquiring new knowledge.

The adage of the only difference between a groove and a grave being the depth holds true. We must be very careful in our businesses that we do not become so enchanted by a single success or way of doing things that it becomes the gold standard.

During the various stages of lockdown, we realised that it was possible to hold auctions virtually, we could have virtual expo’s and we meet with so many more people electronically than the “tried and tested” physical meetings. Yes, there is no substitute for an eyeball and handshake meeting, but there are other, sometimes more effective, ways of getting the job done.

 

The Tobin Company suggests the following five steps to avoid complacency once you have achieved your dream goal:

1.    Start every day from scratch

2.    Surround yourself with people who tell you like it is

3.    Focus on process instead of outcome

4.    Continuously learn and adapt

5.    Recharge the batteries

 

They are all important and I support the thinking. The one that appeals to me most is surrounding yourself with people who tell you like it is. We hate being told we are wrong or doing things differently would be better, but if somebody does not do that how will we ever change.

 

This brings me to the financial advisor or broker that you use to assist in making insurance decisions. Financial advisors can easily become complacent as well and as the current pandemic has clearly shown anything is possible even though it may seem farfetched at this point. Your advisor must be up to date with developments in the industry and continuously develop his or her own skillset. It is good to have an advisor you like and get along with, but it is even more important that he or she asks the tough questions and tell you like it is!

 

Other synonyms for complacency are self-satisfaction, self-approval, self-admiration, self-congratulation, self-regards, triumph, pride and satisfaction. These all are quite fine in moderation and we should sometimes reflect on our achievements. One must recharge one’s battery. However, beware of growing complacent. This complacency can relate to all aspects of your business, its growth, diversification, how the business is protected, what you produce and how you produce it. It can also apply to complacency farmers might have around learning and acquiring new knowledge.

 

Complacency could very well be another word for lazy. Rather opt for good habits to keep you out of a groove destined to become a grave.

Andries Wiese -National Business Development Manager at Hollard Insurance

 


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